“Is that a marching band?  Do you hear that?”  Laurelyn looked out our 9th floor window of our hotel room.  “Oh my goodness!  It’s a parade!  Get your shoes on.  We’re going to a parade.”

I was catching a mid-afternoon snooze, actually, and I woke to the click of the hotel door closing.

I sat up groggily, leaning back on my elbows to survey the situation. My half-awake self realized the room was empty of my friends, and then I pieced together the conversation I thought had been a dream.

Oh! They went to see a parade?  I can’t miss this!

I threw on a pair of shoes and raced out the door, eager to catch up.  I followed the sound of the bass drums until I found my girls a couple of blocks down the street.  Sure enough, a parade, right through the city streets of Portland.

“Trish!  You know what Donald Miller and Bob Goff say: nobody’s allowed to watch!  Get in there!  Get in the parade!”

So I jumped in.  I danced and clapped.  There’s this bit of me that loves to join a loud, silly scene, and I’m beginning to find her again.  So I joined the parade.

And that’s when I realized I’d never quite seen a parade like this one.  What I thought was a marching band was actually a small tribe of people carrying drums and dancing in a circle.  People were chanting and carrying placards.  There was a long line of policemen on bicycles, all equipped with riot gear.

I wasn’t dancing in a parade.  I had joined a protest.

Would you look at this picture?  Tarbled hair, wrinkled clothes, and one leg of my jeans tucked into my boots.  I tumbled out of bed to march in a protest.

And I never even learned the cause.

But I did learn on the Portland News that there were some arrests and pepper spray a few blocks down.  So, you know.

Guess I can cross that off my bucket list.

One man’s protest is another woman’s parade.

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